Although most of the buildings under the Architect of the Capitol's (AOC) care are historic, their continuing use requires them to be updated to meet the needs of Congress, the Supreme Court and millions of visitors.

Installing electric lights, air conditioning, and cell phone and Wi-Fi stations made it possible for work to extend into the night and the summer and for communications to extend around the world at the speed of light.

All of those technologies, however, required metal conduits or metal ducts, all of which must be custom fit. Because the historic buildings they're installed in weren't designed with these modern marvels in mind, the metal that carries them must be cut and shaped to fit within the space available.

Image
Ernie Wichman, Sheet Metal Mechanic in the Senate Office Buildings.
Image
The deburring tool used to remove sharp edges from sheet metal.

Ernie Wichman, Sheet Metal Mechanic in the Senate Office Buildings, who brought this tool to our attention, demonstrates how he uses it to prevent injuries.

When metal is cut, however, the edges can be razor-sharp and punctuated with burrs that can catch on and tear anything that rubs against them, like work gloves. That's why when the Senate Sheet Metal Branch learned about the deburring tool that their counterparts in the Capitol Building use to remove sharp edges from sheet metal from 1/32" to 1/4" thick, they immediately started using it.

Although it's small and seemingly simple, this little tool reduces injuries by saving hands, which is why we give it two thumbs up as a cool tool.

Comments

Thank you for the interesting article, Franklin!

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Recent News

Noteworthy Updates

History & Discoveries

The Architect of the Capitol Sweeps Up the Past

When Jim Kaufmann, Capitol Grounds and Arboretum Director, happened across an 1891 street-sweeping map while going through cultural landscape reports, he had no idea how simple an old map could make caring for the U.S. Capitol Grounds.
Public Notice

Volume 19 of Tholos Magazine Now Available

The latest edition of the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) employee magazine, Tholos, is now available. Article themes include Cool Tools, Organizational Transformation, Seasonal Highlight, Doing Good, Project Updates, and Spotlight on Safety.